It seems that after being nudged by the US, both India and Pakistan are trying to settle down the dust emanating from Pathankot attack and ease into foreign secretary-level talks at the earliest that, as of now, are scheduled to take place on January 15.Reposing sort of a trust in the probe initiated by the Pakistani authorities to thoroughly probe the Pathankot attack links, union home minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said, “Since Pakistan has assured us that it will take effective action. I think we should wait…There is no reason to distrust them as of now.”Rajnath’s statement assumes significance as it came after the US asserted that “our expectation is that investigation will be thorough and complete and as transparent as possible” and a day after he met external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Such meetings usually take place in the run-up to talks, to essentially discuss the issues to be taken up during the talks.It is to be noted that India has so far refused to comment anything with regard to foreign secretary-level talks. Incidentally, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has asked the newly appointed high commissioner Gautam Bambawale to take charge at the earliest in Islamabad. Bambawale is now scheduled to meet Pakistan foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhary on Wednesday.The ministry is so far moving with an assumption that the foreign secretary-level talks in Islamabad on January 15 are still on. Bambawale also confirmed that, “Instruction given to me was to reach Pakistan at the earliest. So, I am going to cross over (by road) and reach there.”Asked if foreign secretary S Jaishankar will be in time for the talks, he quipped: “The two governments are in touch with each other, we will have to wait and see what would be the next step.”He said he was going to Pakistan with the message of friendship and the intentions of improving bilateral relations. “We want to strengthen our relationship,” he said.While there is a large consensus in security establishment here, to give a chance to prime minister Nawaz Sharif to act on India’s actionable intelligence, they also fear that in the wake of inaction, dialogue may suffer an immense damage.”Unlike earlier instances when Pakistan gets into a denial mode, for the first time things seem to be moving in Pakistan. But we are keeping our fingers crossed. Cannot expect spring by seeing just one sparrow,” said a source.Informed sources in the government said that a little more initiative by Pakistan that conveyed credible effort in the direction of effective action against the perpetrators of Pathankot attack would clinch the issue to go ahead with talks.”There is a possibility that talks may get delayed by a week or so,” said a source indicating that the BJP government wants to convey an impression that it has remained tough and is going ahead with talks not under any kind of pressure but on its own terms.Pakistan has already formed a high-level joint investigation team (JIT) and has even carried out raids in Gujranwala, Jhelum and Bahawalpur districts and reportedly arrested unspecified number of suspects.India, sources said, is expected to provide some more evidence to help Pakistan narrow down on possible suspects. Help is also being sought from foreign agencies to track route of calls that were made during the attack.The findings made by the NIA on the similarities between Pathankot airbase and Kathua and Samba attacks, where army and police facilities faced terror strikes last year and details of evidence that will come out from questioning of witnesses, are also expected to be conveyed to Pakistan.This move is expected to put more pressure on Pakistan to get to the bottom of terror conspiracies that were hatched on its land, said sources.
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